Some Funny Thoughts & Ponderings…

I’m working behind the scenes currently in securing an editor for my latest novel, M.B. She was recommended to me by an author in my area whom I’ve come to know in the past few months. On the outside I am the professional, helpful writer–listening and waiting patiently, hoping my novel portrays itself well. Inside I am a giddy seven year old, hyped up on cotton candy and screaming for more sugar, RIGHT NOW, MISTER!

I am calm. All is bright.

Crack on! Continue reading “Some Funny Thoughts & Ponderings…”

Book Review & Theory: The Turn of the Screw

A friend recommended reading Henry Jame’s novella, The Turn of the Screw. It’s a psychological horror, set in Victorian times in England in Essex, specifically. Throw in an old country estate named Bly–isolated and with a large pond–a couple of potential ghosts, a country church and I’m sold. Get me a cup of tea, some caramel popcorn and away we go. Nothing better than a cozy horror snuggled up in blankets.

Expecting something like Jane Eyre, I sat and read the novella (approximately 43,000 words) over a weekend, some in the car, some in restaurants and the rest at home. It’s a quick read–I particularly loved the short, but thick chapters, that gave just enough momentum to keep the reader going. The imagery, particularly the ghost sightings I adored. James has a way with describing just enough and letting your mind fill in the rest, particularly with domestic scenes so close to our experiences.

I got to the end, eager for answers, several theories at my side I developed. I met Mr. James there, holding his white handkerchief in a tease surrender, standing next to his character’s corpse. My theories fell to the wayside. I argued, I harangued, I politely condoled. But I would get no answers, it seemed. It was up to me and all the other readers since the 1800’s.

I screamed.

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Flash Fiction: April 12th

My first Flash Fiction contest entry. Check it out from Charli at the Carrot Ranch for details of this week’s 99 word challenge:

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Witticisms to Keep on Writing!

Are you sweating to the tunes of the typewriter, wondering exactly how your novel’s going to wrap up? Are you thinking you never properly learned your native language and have no business even being near a phone book? Is your dog staring at you, waiting for his walk, fifth potty break of the evening and is demanding his share of the num num installments?

Well, fellow writer, print and post these ten gems at your writing desk and party on with your semicolons and syntax editing. We’ll get there, yet!

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Some of My Favorite Books & Why

With no particular rhyme or reason, here are five of my favorite books. There are, of course, many, many, many more.

Hurry, scurry, get thee to a library!

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A Phrase I’m Wearied of Hearing: “It’s a Witch Hunt!”

The current political climate in America is, to say the very least, volatile. The sitting president has broken every rule, thrown etiquette to the four winds and buried all sense of decency somewhere out in the Rose Gardens. Like many Americans, I’m persevering through, still somewhat in shock from the election results and wondering what 2020 will bring, indeed.

One phrase of the president’s I’ve heard and read, over and over, reached a crescendo with me today: “It’s a witch hunt!” This has become (for me) the boy who cried wolf. A child’s tantrum cry of “They made me do it!”, “It wasn’t me, it was them!” and “You can’t prove anything!” If we’re honest, it’s a barely concealed boast: “I’m above the law; I can turn around anything you find with my money. I’m a very rich man. Why are you wasting your time?”

What would Orwell think, if he were alive today? I’m sure the Founding Fathers would be spitting their mead across the tables, wondering if someone misplaced their beloved Declaration of Independence in the National Archives somewhere…

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Combing through Novel Drafts: How I do it

This morning I’m combing through my novel, M.B., for what is probably the three hundredth time–without exaggeration. If you want to write, and write well, get used to this process. As you scan back and forth over your novel’s pages, like a scanner hovering silently over the moon’s craters, you will find mistakes, blip and puddles that will need to be fixed, altered or mopped. This is good, normal and part of the writing process. I enjoy the process and bring tea, snacks and Enya music along for the ride. Make yourself comfortable and go.

Here’s some ways how I go about the revision and editing processes…

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Lifting up Writers: Leave and Read an Encouraging Comment

Writing, at least in the first stages, is often a solitary work. Frustration, anger and slow progress all join the party for writers at one point or another. Sometimes you stare at the pages and wonder if you ever properly learned your language. Other days, you forget how to spell your name, pronounce your novel’s title, or even how to properly pee.

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The Impermanence of Legacy

I walked my Labrador this evening. Over hills, through mud, grass, gravel and turf we went, smelling, sniffing and eating things of questionable nature before I could issue a stern “Ka kah!”* Upon our walk, we came across a memorial for local fire fighters. In the sidewalk ambling up laid worn bricks with donors’ names etched. Most of the names were erased by the elements, faint letters visible sporadically, leaving nonsense to be deciphered and speculated.

We lingered only a moment, as my Lab was undertaking a smell inventory. In the pause, I became aware how short human memory and legacies are, despite salesmen’s promises. We are born with nothing; we die with nothing. As a stumbling follower of Yeshua, this doesn’t bother me. I chose to place my trust in him and his words, something I don’t consider transient. This speck of dust does hope to leave some books behind, like the Brontës did in their century.  If anything, someone can use the novels to prop open a door for another. Or level a wobbly table or two on the Enterprise. It could happen.

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Seasons of Writing & Novel Snippet

I’ve been in a particularly busy season of my life for the past few years. There’s been some respite and solace, but overall everything’s been at a steady, enduring clip. As things shift and change, I’m starting to realign my time and focus on my personal goals: writing and exercise among them. I’m also volunteering and becoming involved in activities that support my growth and refill my cup. As an introvert, this is a careful balance. Remember my formula? One hour of socializing = one year of hibernation. And yes, I’m still in the red.  But it’s less crimson and more of a happy, candy apple red now…

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